The winter chill may send us indoors but we need not go straight from the office to the comforts of home. The theatres and museums are buzzing with life as the arts move up the list of enjoyed weekend activities and Crawford Art Gallery won’t be left behind due to their latest exhibition.
An Irish painter, geologist and antiquarian, George Victor du Noyer spent his life recording Irish geology, antiquities, natural history and landscape. Born in 1817, over the course of a half-century, du Noyer travelled the length and breadth of the country with his beloved dog, Mr Buff, sketching and recording as he went. His work, the subject of a 2014 BBC documentary narrated by Martha Kearney, traced life in the most remote districts in the aftermath of the Great Famine and during the time when railways were being built throughout Ireland.
Although he was a descendant of Huguenot refugees who settled in Dublin in the eighteenth century, at no point did du Noyer regard himself as alien to the landscapes he travelled through. Whether in Wexford, Cork, Kerry or Antrim, his sketches and notebooks suggest a sense of ease and kinship with those around him.
Thousands of watercolours, drawings and sketches by du Noyer are preserved in the libraries and archives of institutions, including the Botanic Gardens, National Museum of Ireland, Geological Survey Ireland, Royal Irish Academy and Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland.
However, due to the fragility of these works, they have rarely been exhibited. The exhibition at the Crawford Art Gallery is the first major exhibition of his works in twenty years, so it is certainly one not to be missed!
I am delighted to be able to support this exhibition featuring the works of George du Noyer through the provision of a special grant to the Crawford Art Gallery. The exhibition depicts Ireland’s varied landscape and structures of the 1800s as seen through the eyes of a unique artist. It has been made possible through the collaboration of the Crawford Art Gallery, the National Museum and Archives of Ireland, the National Botanic Gardens, the Royal Irish Academy, Royal Society of Antiquaries and Geological Survey of Ireland.
It is my strong belief that collaborative projects such as this enrich Ireland’s cultural offering.
Minister Heather Humphreys TD, Dept of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht
The exhibition, featuring over 150 watercolours and drawings, will celebrate Du Noyer’s extraordinary achievements and commemorate the bi-centenary of his birth. Open to the public since November 17, the exhibition is curated by Peter Murray, former Director of the Crawford Art Gallery, in collaboration with Petra Coffey and Geological Survey Ireland. Stones, Slabs and Seascapes will feature loans from the collections of the Royal Irish Academy, National Botanic Gardens, Glasnevin, National Museum of Ireland, Royal Society of Antiquaries, Geological Survey Ireland and National Archives.
A full colour catalogue of the exhibition will feature articles by Petra Coffey, Peter Murray, Nigel Monaghan, Peter Harbison and Susan Hegarty, and will be available to buy online and in the gallery’s bookshop.
The Learn & Explore team will also be running an extensive programme to accompany the exhibition. The programme will encompass many of the subjects in which du Noyer was interested and will consist of public talks, tours, and themed workshops aimed at children and adults alike.
We reckon this exhibition has something for everyone and is not to be missed!
Crawford Art Gallery
Emmet Place, Cork
021 480 5042